A clear structuring and tightening of processes within a company are of crucial importance when margins decline and time constraints increase simultaneously. This also applies, of course, to companies in the translation business, which have been exposed to this trend for years.
Investing in IT to enhance business activity and continuously improve quality and service is vital for a company when competing with providers from low-wage countries.
"We were looking for an Internet-based application that would both support us in handling our projects and in analyzing the resulting financial data," explains Udo Leinhäuser. "It was important for us in this respect that this application would not only support us in the workflow, but would also reduce our routine work, such as providing project data, sending invoices and confirming orders.
"We especially wanted our freelance translators and cooperation partners to be linked into our data. If you look at the solutions provided by big providers, you'll find some industry solutions, but none that are specific to our sector. We would have had to cut back too much or focus too intensely on customizing, which, for both time and financial reasons, was not an option.
"We had been searching long and hard for an appropriate solution when we realized how the software industry had been neglecting our field of activity. When we came across a solution, it was always from an operator in the industry that had endeavored to counter this drawback with their own development. We also toyed with the idea for a while, but then decided that we didn't have to reinvent the wheel, and we used our energy to evaluate the product that was best for us. However, we didn't find anything for quite a long time, and it was only thanks to a colleague's tip that we turned our attention to ]project-open[ .
"]project-open[ offers industry solutions oriented towards the services sector, and above all towards the translation field. Frank Bergmann's team in Barcelona specialize in solutions for SMEs in the areas of advertising, consulting, IT and translation. His team primarily uses open source technologies here, which have already proven their capacity in very big Internet applications.
"During the assessment phase we were given comprehensive advice, and it quickly became clear that, with just few adjustments, we would achieve our objective of a stable, fast and high-performance Internet application that precisely corresponded with our requirements. We tested ]project-translation[ on our hardware for 2 months and went productive at the beginning of the year. Our employees, who were rather skeptical at the beginning, could handle the system efficiently after a brief period of adjustment, and have since become fully satisfied.
"We now keep our entire customer and supplier master data, and all project-relevant data in an extremely efficient Internet-based application. It takes just a few minutes from registering a potentially new customer to sending an offer."
If an order is made, a project is created with the data already available in the system.
A workflow component controls the project development. The system informs the employees and project managers involved in the project about the work completed and the project's progress. This consequently guarantees a continuous workflow, which contributes to a reduction in throughput times, and transparency during the project increases considerably.
Once the project has been completed, the system generates and sends an invoice on the basis of the project data, and with no more than the push of a button.
"Furthermore, our customers can inform themselves at any time about the project's process via the Internet and in real-time, as everyone involved in the process links into the same database, which is something our customers appreciate. This is precisely what we understand by modern customer relationship management/customer retention."
Leinhäuser und Partner Fachübersetzungen has successfully reduced its internal costs and become more competitive thanks to the application of an excellent system. One of the more enjoyable side effects for the business management and controlling function is the fact that ]project-open[ , in its basic configuration, is completely free. License fees are only paid for specific customer requests or add-on modules, but these are very low compared to other products.
About Leinhäuser und Partner Fachübersetzungen
Leinhäuser und Partner Fachübersetzungen is a renowned translation firm based in Munich. The company has 9 in-house employees, turnover of EUR 1.2 mil, and specializes in translation services in the IT, telecommunications, automotive, toy and banking sectors. Leinhäuser und Partner provides its customers, which range from SMEs to large-scale industry operators, with high-quality translation services.
WEB: Leinhäuser und Partner